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How to Fix Grass I Burned With Fertilizer

A yellow burned lawn is an eye sore that can only be fixed by reseeding all affected areas. The process of reseeding is time consuming but will be worth it once the lawn is in full vigor. The entire lawn does not have to be replaced if the burn is isolated to small areas. Simply remove only the damaged lawn and reseed. Prevent future lawn burn by carefully following fertilizer instructions or using an organic option that does not contain chemicals.

Verify the reason for the lawn burn. Grass will turn yellow due to an over application of high nitrogen fertilizer. The lawn will also turn yellow when it goes dormant in the fall.

Rake the lawn to remove as much dead grass as possible. Remove several inches of soil if the herbicide was not a high nitrogen type.

Water the soil generously for one week to leach away excess nitrogen.

Use a tiller to dig the lawn soil to a depth of 6 inches. Remove vegetation that remains so the lawn is smooth. Apply a thin layer of compost to the top of the soil.

Lightly pack the soil with a lawn roller. Fill in noticeable low spots to create a smooth soil surface.

Apply a layer of grass seed or lay sod to replace the burned grass. Apply a layer of straw mulch over newly sown grass seed.

Water the lawn thoroughly daily for the first two weeks. This will assist with seed germination or help the sod set roots. Continue to water several times a week to prevent the grass from drying.

Apply fertilizer in the spring and fall seasons following the reseeding. Follow the instructions closely to prevent burning the grass. Use a fish emulsion or urine based fertilizer, as they are not prone to grass burn.


Have your soil tested at a county or university Extension office. The soil test will include recommendations on the type of fertilizer needed for best results.

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